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Christmas fat quarters

 

 

We’ve had fun putting together these lovely fat quarter bundles, and they’re not just for quilters! With Christmas approaching fast, take a look at our fat quarters next time you’re in the shop – you might find that a usefully sized square of fabric in one of our gorgeous Christmas fabrics is just the thing you’re looking for. Our fat quarters are generally 18″ x 22″  (that’s 45cm x 48 cm if you prefer) and so are a useful way to buy smaller pieces of fabric for your christmas craft projects as well as for quilted christmas projects. Available singly, or in a pack of 4 pattern and 2 plain.

 

 

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Christmas Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time for Christmas makes is well and truly upon us, and we’re ready for it!

We’ve got a fantastic array of Christmas fabric waiting for you at Livingstones, and with traditional prints, christmassy patterns and rustic scandi to choose from, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for.

See you in store!

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Sewing and craft themed fabric

Brand new in!

This is a fabulous fabric with all things sewing related in the design, what more could you want!?

This fabric is a durable polycotton with vibrant colours that make all the beautifully printed sewing instruments stand out. This fabric looks wonderful made up as a roman blind and would also look great as curtains, these would make a perfect addition to any sewing room. It could even be made up into cushions or a bag, as a gift for that sewing enthusiast you know.

There is a vintage theme to the sewing instruments with the iconic Singer sewing machine and vintage mannequin along with the kind of haberdashery you would expect to find in a well-stocked sewing box of maybe your mother or grandmother.

This fabric is available in our Bridport shop or you can purchase it online by following the link below to our web shop.

 

 

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Book Review: Boho bags

 

This lovely book by Beate Schmitz is full of ideas for making a variety of useful bags, perfect for using up the small pieces of fabric we all have at home, or for treating yourself to a half metre of something gorgeous from the huge range of furnishing fabrics here at Livingstone Textiles!

There are detailed, illustrated instructions  for a range of bags from small bags for keys and change through to large tote bags and striking messenger bags. Also included are full-size patterns in a storage pocket in the back of the book; all in all a useful and well thought out addition to your bookshelf, and a bargain at only £8.99!

Most curtain fabrics can be used for making bags, and also many craft fabrics are suitable for smaller bags, or larger ones with use of a heavier interfacing. Browse our online selection by clicking on the pictures below, or visit our stores in Bridport Dorset or Yeovil Somerset to see a larger range.

 

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New Xmas Fabrics now in stock

It’s time to get planning if you’re running a craft stall anywhere this autumn and start making up your Christmas Crafts.

We have 3 lovely Advent calender kits in stock ready for you to make up and a panel of the twelve days of Christmas repeated three times so there are lots of opportunities for card making, stitched gifts and lap quilts.

We also have a great selection of new Christmas fabrics in stock and we are steering away from the more traditional designs.  One of our favourites is the navy fabric with the white polar bear constellation across it.  The penguins are pretty cute too.

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Eco Friendly Recycled Felt

You may already know that we love to be as eco friendly as we can in our stores – we wrote recently about our recycled polyester thread. We would also like to share with you our eco felt, which is made from polyester produced from post-consumer plastic bottles. As you know, the success of recycling all depends on having an end product which uses up the recycled raw materials, and this is a really great example.

This is an inexpensive felt, with a good range of colours and is suitable to sew or glue. It can be used for children’s craft projects but equally is really useful for applique as it does not fray when cut.

In addition as it is an artificial fibre it will melt when heated, which is required for some craft uses. If you need a felt with some wool content you can take a look at our vintage felt range.

This felt is available to buy online by the metre at 36″/90cm width, and also at our Bridport store in 9″ squares. Please click on the link below to see the full range of colours, find out more information or request a sample.

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Paintsplash Velvet

This astoundingly beautiful fabric has given all of the staff here at Livingstones a great deal of angst.

We all love its bright coloursand artistic style and are busy plotting ideas on how to use it to its full potential.

One of us wants a skirt and that would be a great priced piece of clothing at £16.40 as it would only need about half a metre.

Another really wants a sixties swing coat which would look so dramatic, luckily her mum is the talented Meg who owns Livingstones so hopefully she’ll get her wish…watch this space.

I think I’d quite like a pop of colour to go with a purchase from Dorset Arts Week so I might buy a piece for a cushion to give my living room a lift. What would you use it for?  Come in to the shop and have a feel, it’s so unbelievably soft.

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Toucan Play

This rather special bag was made by one of our very talented Bridport customers who from time to time pops into the shop to share her latest creations.

This time she has been working on a stunning little satchel to wear whilst riding her bike.  She has used our vivid toucan fabric with bright orange twill as a contrast on the sides.  We adore the fuschia pink lining that picks out the colours in the parrot on the front.  She has also made a matching hat and definitely adds a bright splash of colour when she cycles around the town. Thank you for sharing this with us, we love to see anything you’ve made 🙂

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NEW: Vintage tractor fabric

This lovely heavy cotton curtain fabric is new in at Livingstone Bridport, and we love it! with a beautiful ‘vintage’ colourway, this fabric has a print featuring lovely vintage tractors placed over a subtle farm-based texture – fields away from the usual brightly coloured nursery prints, yet perfect for the little ruralist in your life.

The fabric is 100% printed textured cotton, and 135 cms (53 inches) wide.

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Unique One Offs

We have acquired some very beautiful fabric. ” But you’re always doing that” I hear you say.  True enough and our fabric stash is pretty vast, so big that it now takes up two whole shops!  The thing is, sometimes a little stash comes along that we just cannot do without and we just have to squeeze it in somewhere.

This month we are bringing you something unique.  One offs.

And there they are.  Absolutely beautiful hand block printed cottons from India.

Representing the individual nature of handmade, each is a short run of 6 or 8 metres or so and created with Indigo and Rust dyes.

These really are very special and as such we are not selling them in anything smaller than 2 metre pieces.  Each run has been individually inspected by us to ensure clean line up of the block print with no overlaps.

Don’t hang about because the best designs will be flying out quickly and once they’re gone they’re gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Livingstones Summer fabric to be seen with.

 

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Childrens Sun Hats

Love To Sew are a collection of books that contain quick little projects to make, with        small amounts of fabric.  Parents and Grandparents often have a hard time finding a hat that a child will keep on its head so let us introduce you to Childrens Sun Hats by Gill Stratton.  The childrens hats in this book are delightful and really easy to make, even if you only have the very basic sewing skills.  You could make them for your own little ones or as a gift for someone else.

Containing step by step instructions including the measuring of a childs head circumference right through to the top stitching hints for crisp and clean brims, this book is a great way into making hats for the first time.  The photographs showing each stage are clear and the instructions are written in laymans terms making them really easy to follow.  There are some clever cutting tips to limit the fabric waste and a full list of the sewing equipment and fabrics needed for each project.   The designer shows you how and where to use interfacings to give strength to different parts of the hat and shows you how to make some clever and co-ordinating trims and accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book you will find half size templates for all of the hats included with simple enlarging instructions and there are some clever tips on upcycling old clothing into hats and linings if you don’t fancy buying anything new.  This book can be browsed and purchased at Livingstone Textiles in Bridport, Dorset and we highly reccomend it.

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Summery fabrics to keep you cool

With summer around the corner and the hint of sunshine teasing us with its warmth, it’s that time of year for light cotton or even linen clothes to help keep cool and looking summery.

We have a lovely range of 100% cottons in many, many designs from plains to florals or batiks to animals and more. We even have Liberty designs and cotton lawns, so there is plenty to choose from when you’re thinking of adding something to your summer wardrobe.

If linen is more your fabric of choice for the fair weather then we have plenty for you as well, with a colourful range of plain pure irish linens to choose from.

Alternatively, we have a range of linen mixed fabrics, some are cotton and linen unions and others are linen viscose mixed fabrics which are in fact underrated and overlooked by many of the purists who see that there is a viscose content to the fabric and run! However, viscose is a man-made fibre that is manufactured from a plant-based material called cellulose and is typically made from woody plants, such as trees and bamboo. It is a low-cost fabric and has many of the desirable qualities of more luxurious fabrics. It is used to make clothing because it is breathable, drapes well, is highly absorbent and does not trap body heat. Because viscose is made from renewable plants, it is frequently cited as an environmentally friendly fabric, particularly when bamboo is its source. So maybe give linen viscose a chance next time and you’ll be surprised at how cool and comfortable it is!

 

 



 

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Crafting inspirations – a child’s lampshade

Our Yeovil store shared this adorable lampshade made with Animal Alphabet fabric!

To get the look, this cute fabric is available in store at £17.85 per metre, and we also sell lampshade kits, so you can easily get a smart, professional-looking finish either with this fabric, or the fabric of your choice.

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Spring Florals

 

Spring has sprung and to celebrate, we’re sharing some charming cotton prints with you.

Perfect little designs that are ideal for dressmaking, craft projects and patchwork, these are just a few selected from the huge delivery we’ve had this month.  We’ve a wealth of new fabrics in stock for you, from plush velvets in stunning colours to exotic botanical prints in some really exciting colours so come and pay us a visit over the easter holidays and get a new project going.

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Tiny heart buttons

 

Just in time for Valentine’s day, these tiny heart buttons are new in store. In either red or ivory, they would be just perfect for childrens clothes or knits, and with their soft, rounded shape will be easy for little fingers to handle too.

We also thought they would be beautiful for handmade wedding accessories – especially the ivory hearts, which you can see in the close-up picture have a delicate rustic look. We’re picturing them on cards, gift tags or bunting for a perfect homemade rustic wedding feel.

 

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Sophies’ Sandwich Keeper

With all of us becoming very conscious of throwaway plastics and trying to reduce our use and consumption, one of our Bridport team members decided to make up a bag to put her sandwiches in.  Made from less than a fat quarter of fabric, she lined it with a ripstop nylon and popped a velcro closure onto the top and bottom of the first two corners that fold over the sandwiches.  She then made a button hole in one corner and stitched a button onto the showside of the remaining corner that make a neat little packet when closed together, keeping her lunch fresh and looking very pretty in the staff fridge.  Needless to say that we all want one!

Adorable!  Look out for her next experiment with waxed fabrics.

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Fabric Dolls

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There are some beautiful books in the fabric shop at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.  These are some of our favourite doll making books because they are fanciful and appealing to all age groups.

 

 

 

We also stock a helpful bit of kit for dollmakers called a doll needle.  This very long needle is great for attaching limbs, hair and facial features as you can pass the fine needle throught the fabrics without distortion.  Pop in to the shop and browse our books if you’d like some inspiration for a new project.  We stock kapok stuffing, calico, organzas and beautiful buttons for you to style your dream doll.

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The Bridport Wassail

In the town of Bridport in West Dorset we have a community orchard that was begun in 2009 with the planting of 23 half standard apple trees as part of the Symondsbury Apple Project.  In February 2010 this was added to and there are now 58 fruit trees in total, including some old and rare varieties that have stood the test of time.  All the trees and the green spaces surrounding them are carefully tended by a group of local volunteers.  The Community Orchard is a public space for everyone to enjoy and lies just behind St Marys church off South Street in St Marys Field.  It regularly holds community events that have a traditional theme, often with the imbibing of good local Cider from West Milton Cider Company.  Around the 18th of January each year a custom known as a Wassail has been revived in the orchard which involves much merriment, mulled cider and hot apple juice.

view from Church tower(photo Sheila Hawkins) http://www.bridportcommunityorchard.org.uk/styled/index.html

Wassailing

twelfthnight

Wassail gets its name from an Old English greeting “waes hael“, meaning “be well”. Said to be a Saxon custom where at the start of each year, the lord of the manor would shout ‘waes hael’ and the assembled crowd would reply ‘drinc hael‘, meaning ‘drink and be healthy’.

A Wassail Bowl is a great thing, a vessel of carved wood or pottery featuring many handles for shared drinking, it is passed around an orchard amidst singing and shouting and was especially popular in the cider producing counties of the Southwest, primarily Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Wassailing is a traditional ceremony where in the depths of winter, apple tress are sung to and blessed on the eve of twelfth night in anticipation of a heavy yield the following autumn.  It normally takes place at night where a Wassail king or queen will lead a procession around the orchard singing loudly and making much noise.  The king or queen is then lifted into a tree where he or she will hang toast from the wassail bowl that has been soaked in a hot brew of mead, ale, honey and spices of cinnamon, ginger and roasted crab apples from the previous years crop.  The assembled crowd will then shout, yell and bang pans and a shotgun is usually fired into the trees to frighten away evil spirits that would otherwise spoil the crop.  The king or queen will then go to the oldest tree in the orchard which harbours the oldest spirit and pour some of the mead around the base of the tree as an offering of respect.  The fertility of the entire orchard is said to reside in this spirit, known as the Apple Tree Man in Somerset.  It is then customary to sing the wassail song:

Its our Wassail, jolly Wassail, joy come too our jolly Wassail.

How well the May bloom, how well the May bear, so we may have apples and cider next year
Hats full, caps full,
Three bushel bags full, and little heaps under the stairs
Hip Hip……HURRAH!

The Carhampton Wssail, one of the oldest in the country

In Bridport, our own local troupe of morris dancers will be entertaining the crowds at the Bridport Wassail on Sunday the 21st January from 3pm onwards with traditional folk music and morris dancing with sticks and hankies.  Livingstone Textiles are proud to supply Wyld Morris with the bells, ribbons and tatter coat fabrics required for their kit.

Wyld Morris are based at Monkton Wyld Court at the sustainable living community to which they contribute towards funding in return for a practice space in their beautiful pine hall on Wednesday evenings.

Wassailing and family fun at Bridport Community Orchard

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Lovely Linens

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to stock a great selection of linens suitable for dressmaking and curtain making.  We hold beautiful soft linens from Russia, rough and slubby linens from Lithuania and beautiful herringbone weaves as well as traditional Irish linens.  As well as our regular stock lines in natural colours we can also occasionally source limited colours in gentle washed out greens, oranges, yellows and blues.

We sell a lot of our linen as curtain fabric as its weight allows it to drape beautifully but one or two of our staff members have sewn clothing items from the lighter weights as it hangs really well and below we can share with you a lightweight hoodie that was made from a green/blue linen that was in stock last summer.  Sadly this particular colour has not become available again but we still have other colours in stock.  Some of our customers also print on our linens and turn them into unique cushions and tea towels.

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Puppy Pawprint Fleece

Is it time for a new blanket for your dog?  This new colourway in our soft cuddly fleece is perfect for a luxury dog blanket and you could easily make a dog beanbag out of it as well.  Of course, you can use it for other projects as it’s a perfect fabric for dog lovers.  Available in both of the Livingstone Textiles fabric shops in Yeovil, Somerset and in Bridport, Dorset.

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Fancy Dress for Last Minute Flappers

It’s not too late to put an outfit together in time for New Year’s Eve.  We’ve still got plenty of sparkle here at Livingstone Textiles so pop in and get some sequins and stars to add to your party outfit.

We’ve also got some fabulous feathers and flapper fringe to give you the Charlston Feel and fur in a rainbow of colours plus ribbons and buttons as well as trouser, skirt and bra extenders if last years outfit is a tad unforgiving.